When Greg Baker sold the family business his father had opened in 1965, he wasn’t sure what he would do next. He had worked there for 42 years, starting part-time in high school. He had run the business for 15 of those years and suddenly had an opportunity to start a new career.
Baker’s wife encouraged him to look into becoming a substitute or a bus driver at Meridian Technology Center. Baker already had his Commercial Driver’s License, so he applied for a bus driver opening with the school.
He was hired and has been driving Meridian’s buses for over a year. “I couldn’t have found a better job,” he said.
His favorite part of the job is interacting with the students and encouraging them. “Although I’m not in an instructor position, I still try to be a positive influence,” said Baker. He greets each student as they board the bus and works to get to know them throughout the year. He learns what program each is in and keeps up with how they’re progressing in their classes. “I was excited to see them after the summer,” Baker said.
In between routes, Baker keeps track of maintenance records for Meridian’s buses and cars and works in the Educational Enhancement Center. He supports the staff and students as they build students’ academic skills and prepare them for their WorkKeys® assessment and state competency testing.
After working at the same company for so long, the team he worked with became like family. Baker said Meridian provides a similar family atmosphere. “I look forward to seeing the other employees here. Everyone has a smile on their face,” he said.
Baker said his days are fulfilling. He explained that students are typically well-behaved on the bus because they choose to attend Meridian. “They want to be here,” he said.
Meridian’s bus drivers serve students in ways that most people don’t. They’re some of the first people to greet students in the morning, and they ensure students get to their classes and back to their high schools safely.
Between routes, drivers continue to help Meridian’s students get the best experience possible by serving in various roles across campus. This may mean helping to maintain Meridian’s fleet of buses and cars or working at the snack bar to ensure student break periods run smoothly. These roles may shift as needs change, but drivers spend the day serving the students and businesses in the Meridian district.
Excellent benefits come with the full-time position. Drivers are employed 175 days a year and salaries are divided over 12 months, so drivers don’t work when classes aren’t in session. This means that in addition to various days off throughout the year, drivers are off during Christmas break, spring break and summer break. Drivers also receive health and dental benefits and are often eligible for overtime pay.
Meridian aims to hire bus drivers who live in the district communities the routes serve. This way, drivers can take the buses back to the partner high schools in their communities each night so that they can begin their days where they live.
Meridian has an immediate opening for a bus driver for the Guthrie to Stillwater route. This is a full-time position with benefits and the opportunity for overtime.
For more information about this position and to apply, visit meridiantech.edu/jobs or call (405) 377-3333 or toll-free at (888) 607-2509.
Meridian Technology Center has been a driver of economic development since 1975. With a mission to educate, enrich lives and secure economic futures, Meridian offers full-time career training programs, short courses, Business and Industry services and entrepreneurial support to residents from the Agra, Carney, Glencoe, Guthrie, Morrison, Mulhall-Orlando, Pawnee, Perkins-Tryon, Perry and Stillwater school districts. Meridian is one of 29 schools within Oklahoma’s CareerTech system.